A woman who climbed the State of Liberty to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families has been found guilty of three misdemeanor counts.
Therese Okoumou faces up to 18 months in federal prison after being found guilty of trespassing, interference with government agency functions and disorderly conduct.
The Congo-born naturalized U.S. citizen climbed the base of the iconic statue on the Fourth of July.
Okoumou choked up as she testified Monday, saying images of children being torn from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border gave her nightmares.
Okoumou had testified that she couldn’t live with the sight of “children in cages” and thought climbing the statue was the only way to bring attention to the issue.
But the judge noted that her actions had endangered not only herself but visitors at the busy tourist site and police officers who had to climb ladders to safely bring her down. He said a person’s viewpoint can’t be a factor in whether laws are enforced.
Okoumou told reporters after the hearing that she does not regret her action and believes she is “on the right side of history.”
“Our laws sometimes lack morality, and this is the perfect example of that,” she said.
She is set to be sentenced in March.